Long before Gabi Butler became a household name following her breakout appearance on Netflix's popular 2020 docuseries Cheer — which gave viewers a glimpse into the world of competitive cheerleading — the powerhouse flyer and tumbler was already a legend.
Basically, if you're immersed in the sport of elite cheerleading, you know who "the Gabi Butler" is, which is why many have dubbed her the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time).
Distractify spoke exclusively with the athlete, who partnered with Silk Oatmilk — which has been dubbed "America's No. 1 best-tasting original oatmilk" — about the pressure that comes with being well-known in the sport, the possibility of a Cheer Season 2, and how the team "came together" last season.
'Cheer' star Gabi Butler talks handling the constant pressure of cheerleading.
In the Netflix series, viewers saw the pressure that Gabi placed on herself to be perfect.
So, how does the athlete deal with living up to expectations that others place on her and the demands she puts on herself? For Gabi, it's about remembering why she started cheerleading.
"You’re always going to have people that are going to try to tear you down or say hurtful things to make you feel defeated or stop what you’re doing," she said. "The best way for me personally to overcome those things is to really just not be as harsh [and remember] why you started something."
The cheerleader told us that showing moments of "trial and error" is very important in today's society because it humanizes things. If you follow Gabi on social media, you'll see that she shares clips of her falls and stunting mishaps, as well as of the moments when she nails a skill.
Will there be a Season 2 of Netflix's 'Cheer'?
In the 2018-2019 season, audiences watched as the Navarro College Cheer Team won their 14th National title since 2000, under head coach Monica Aldama. However, while the team was prepared to leave for Daytona in the 2019-2020 season, the cheerleading competition was canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
But competitors still seemed hopeful as athletes were able to come back and compete in the following 2020-2021 season, on a technicality, at the community college.
However, the favored competitors did not win and placed second.
"It definitely was a very sad situation because that routine, I can say hands down, it was the best routine that Navarro ever put out," Gabi told us. "We put so much time into it and so much effort. It was one of the hardest routines that Navarro Cheer has ever done."
The athlete told us that despite their "amazing routine," the team did make a mistake. "We didn’t hit," she continued. "It was a great example of no matter who you are, things can always happen."
Though the team was not able to run into the ocean this past season (that is reserved for first-place winners, per Navarro tradition), fans are wondering if we'll be seeing more of the cheerleading organization on Netflix.
While there have been talks of a possible Season 2, Gabi told us, "We will see. It definitely is talked about. I think they are in talks of coming out with another season. You’ll just have to wait and see."
So, was Netflix filming the past two seasons in the small Texas town? We sure hope so!
Gabi Butler talks about her team coming together following COVID-19 and the allegations against Jerry Harris.
In fall 2020, the 23-year-old's former teammate, breakout Cheer star Jerry Harris, was arrested on child pornography and sexual misconduct allegations.
Gabi explained to Distractify how the team came together last year amid the pandemic and the allegations against Jerry.
"I think the main thing is we had to stay together," she said. "I think especially for cheerleading, it’s a team sport so if you are divided or you are not one, it’s never going to work."
She continued, "You have to be a family when you’re in cheerleading. It has to be a family thing. We came together and we really just had each other and I think that is really what made us kind of come out of it strong, even if we didn’t get the results we wanted. We still gave it our all."